Tag Archives: Gospel Music Workshop of America

RIP Dr. Charles Reese, GMWA Dean of Academics

JGM is saddened to learn from Deacon Dennis Cole of the passing of Dr. Charles Reese of the Gospel Music Workshop of America. His book on the GMWA was the first to chronicle the organization’s history and achievements. A memorial service will be held next month in Dayton, Ohio.

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“Liar” – Keyondra Lockett

“Liar” Keyondra Lockett IndieBlu Music (release date: July 22, 2022) www.keyondralockett.com By Robert M. Marovich With a touch of a Jamaican patois, Keyondra Lockett gleefully disrespects the devil on “Liar.” Put on the armor of God and the “Holy Ghost fire,” Lockett sings, and nothing the devil can throw at you will hit its target. These include shots fired, lying haters, and general stress. The penetrating electronica that surrounds Lockett all but leaps out of the speakers. It’s an attention-grabbing single from an original member of Zie’l, whom JGM first heard singing a cappella at the 2006 Gospel Music Workshop ...

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“I’m Gonna Say Thank You Lord”

“I’m Gonna Say Thank You Lord” Ricky Paul From the independent CD Just a Country Boy (release date: March 26, 2020) https://www.heavensound.com/artists/rickypaul.htm By Robert M. Marovich Gospel quartet music and country music are not as dissimilar as one might think. Artists from each genre heard one another on the radio and copied the best of what they heard. Their southern roots and branches go back decades. Still, African American gospel soloists who consider their style “country” are few and far between. The last one JGM encountered was Alice McAfee Williams (Al Mac Will). Her 2009 introduction at the Gospel Music ...

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“Come Sunday” – Trineice Robinson

“Come Sunday” Trineice Robinson feat. Cyrus Chestnut From the 4RM Music Productions album All or Nothing (release date: August 6, 2021) www.drtrineice.com By Robert M. Marovich “Come Sunday,” from Duke Ellington’s 1942 Black, Brown and Beige suite, never fails to stop time for saint and sinner alike. Mahalia Jackson’s 1958 lyric version stands as the all-time finest rendition of what started out as an instrumental for saxophonist Johnny Hodges. Nevertheless, jazz vocalist Trineice Robinson does a marvelous job interpreting this ode to the restorative power of prayer. “Come Sunday” is itself a prayer, lifted from a mentally, physically, and emotionally ...

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Charles Fold Singers of Cincinnati Celebrate 50 Years

By Robert M. Marovich On Saturday, November 13, 2021, the Grammy Award-winning Charles Fold Singers of Cincinnati celebrated their 50th Anniversary with a program at Lincoln Heights Missionary Baptist Church, where Dr. Fold had been minister of music. Maryanne Zeleznik on Cincinnati Public Radio’s “Cincinnati Edition” conducted an interview with Charles Fold’s sister Christine Brown, one of only two living founding members of the group; Lincoln Heights Missionary Baptist Church Director of Music and Gospel Music Workshop of America National Board Member Ron Logan, the other founding member of the group; Zion Global Ministries Pastor Freddie Piphus; and Cincinnati Pops ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: May 31, 2021

“I Am With You” Tameka Ferebee Tameka Ferebee Productions (release date: February 12, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich Gospel singer-songwriter Tameka Ferebee’s “I Am With You” is a melodic evocation of the parental love that God has for each of us. The lyrics are written from God’s point of view, the ultimate parent who encourages and consoles his children, especially during the darkest times. Strings swirl dramatically around a delicate melody led by piano. Ferebee becomes more vocally confident as the song moves into the bridge, and explores her high soprano range en route to the big finish. The singer ...

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RIP Madeline Thompson, Ward Singer, GMWA Honoree

By Robert M. Marovich Eric Maurice Clark shared the sad news that gospel singer Madeline Thompson has passed away. Clark had interviewed Thompson for the February 2021 issue of his Inside a Gospel Music Historian’s World magazine. From Philadelphia, Madeline sang with her sister Julia in a duo called the Thompson Sisters. They even sang with the Imperial Gospel Singers at one point. In 1960, Mother Gertrude Ward wanted the two young ladies to join the Ward Singers; the departure of several foundational members to form the Stars of Faith left a gaping hole in the national gospel group. Only ...

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“Wait” – Kevan Peabody

“Wait” Kevan Peabody Twinkem Productions (release date: October 16, 2020) www.twinkemp.com By Robert M. Marovich Taking Proverbs 3:5-6 in part for his text, veteran gospel singer Kevan Peabody implores listeners on “Wait” not to despair but to trust and “wait on the Lord.” To a traditional-flavored but sonically robust arrangement featuring piano and warbling organ, Peabody croons his declarations in a mellow tenor peppered by blues notes. “Trust and never doubt,” he sings, “God will always bring you out.” The song, written by Steven Roberts, has the feel of a church solo augmented by a full studio backing. Bay Area ...

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“Get Right Church”- The Gospel Legends

“Get Right Church” The Gospel Legends From the OTH Records CD Just One Touch (release date: December 11, 2020) www.thegospellegends.com By Robert M. Marovich One day about fifteen years ago, I was at the Gospel Music Workshop of America when someone handed me an invitation to meet a group called the Gospel Legends at their booth in the exhibitors’ hall. Intrigued, I accepted the invitation, expecting to shake hands with a group of seniors from various veteran quartets. I’m sure the Gospel Legends of South Carolina smiled at the surprise on my face when I laid eyes on a group ...

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“Trust in the Lord” – Danielle Sunny Bryant

“Trust in the Lord” Danielle Sunny Bryant Ndamix Music Group (release date: November 13, 2020) By Robert M. Marovich On “Trust in the Lord,” Danielle Sunny Bryant encourages the discouraged by setting Proverbs 3: 5-6 to a meaty contemporary arrangement. Bryant’s attractive vocalizing toggles between modern and traditional, demonstrating her comfort with both styles. Starting out even-keeled, she moves the song toward the vamp, where the background vocalists do the melodic lifting so she can turn up the temperature and deliver a bluesy evangelism. The preferred extended version gives listeners a larger dose of Bryant’s vocal proclivities, including falsetto whoops ...

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